A Brief Statement of Catholic Doctrine
(From: A Layman’s Prayer Book by Philip J. Sheridan)
The faithful who devote between a quarter hour and a half hour to teaching or studying Christian doctrine may gain an indulgence of three years. A plenary indulgence twice a month, under the usual conditions, if the above practice is done twice a month. (No. 693)
The Ten Commandments of God (Exodus XX)
1. I am the Lord, thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall not have strange gods before Me. Thou shall not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shall not adore them or serve them.
2. Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath-day.
4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
5. Thou shall not kill.
6. Thou shall not commit adultery.
7. Thou shall not steal.
8. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
The aim of the Catholic Religion is:
1. To show us the ends for which we were created, namely: to know, love, and serve God in this world, and to enjoy Him eternally in the next.
2. To indicate to us the means that are necessary to attain this end, namely: the exercise of faith, hope, and charity; keeping the Commandments of God and of the Church; prayer and the sacraments.
The truths absolutely necessary to be known and believed, as a means of salvation, are:
1. That there is a God who will reward the good and punish the wicked.
2. The principal mysteries of our holy faith.
The principal mysteries of our holy faith are:
1. The mystery of the most holy Trinity, that is, the mystery of one God in three Divine Persons.
2. The mystery of the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church is the society of the faithful united:
1. By professing the same faith;
2. By participating in the same sacraments;
3. By being united under the one visible head who is the Pope.
The true Church has four marks, she is:
1. One; 2. Holy; 3. Catholic; 4. Apostolic.
These marks belong to the Roman Catholic Church only, that is to the Church which recognizes the Roman Pontiff as her head.
The Church has three prerogatives:
1. Infallibility in her teaching;
2. Perpetuality in her duration;
3. Authority in her ruling.
The Church is composed of two distinct bodies:
1. The Church teaching; that is, the Pope and the Bishops;
2. The Church taught; that is, the priest and the faithful.
All the revealed truths taught by the Church are contained:
1. In the Holy Scripture;
2. In Tradition.
The Church gives her infallible and sovereign decisions:
1. By an Ecumenical or General council with the Pope;
2. By the Pope alone.
An Ecumenical or General Council is:
1. A meeting of all the bishops convoked by the Pope;
2. Which is presided over by the Pope or his delegates;
3. Whose decrees and acts receive the approval of the Pope.
The Pope, the successor of St. Peter and the Vicar of Jesus Christ, possesses:
1. The primacy of honor and jurisdiction over all the bishops and the faithful;
2. Infallibility in his dogmatical decisions;
The infallibility of the Pope was defined as an article of faith in the fourth session of the Council of the Vatican , July 18, 1870. Whoever refuses to admit this dogma is guilty of the sin of heresy.
There are two kinds of grace:
1. Habitual or sanctifying grace, which dwells in our soul and renders it holy and agreeable in the eyes of God.
2. Actual grace, which is an actual help by which God excites and aids us to do good in the order of salvation.
Through sanctifying grace man becomes:
1. The temple of the Holy Ghost;
2. The adopted son of God;
3. The heir of heaven.
This grace is given us in Baptism; it is increased by good works and the sacraments; it is lost by mortal sin, and recovered through the Sacraments of Penance. Without this grace, we cannot perform any action meritorious of heaven.
Actual grace is necessary:
1. To perform good actions meritorious of heaven;
2. To overcome all temptations;
3. To keep all the precepts of the natural law.
A special actual grace is necessary:
1. To avoid in this life venial sin;
2. To obtain final perseverance, that is, to die in the state of grace.
The Six Commandments of the Church:
1. To hear Mass on Sundays, and Holy days of Obligation.
2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3. To confess at least once a year.
4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.
5. To contribute to the support of our Pastors.
6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholic, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witness, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times. (Unless special permission is obtained)
The Seven Sacraments
Baptism – Matt. XXVIII, 19
Confession – Acts VIII, 17
Holy Eucharist – Matt. XXVI, 26
Penance – John, XX, 23
Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) – James V, 14
Holy Orders – Luke XXII, 19
Matrimony – Matt. XIX, 6
The Three Theological Virtues
The Four Cardinal Virtues
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost (Isa. XI 2,3)
Knowledge, Understanding, Piety, Counsel, The Fear of the Lord, Fortitude, Wisdom
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost
Joy, Kindness, Faithfulness, Peace, Goodness, Modesty, Charity, Generosity, Self-control, Patience, Gentleness, Chastity
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
To admonish the sinner;
To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To comfort the sorrowful;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive all injuries;
To pray for the living and the dead.
The Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To ransom the captives;
To shelter the homeless;
To visit the sick;
To bury the dead.
The Eight Beatitudes (Matt. V)
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land.
3. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice; for they shall be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’s sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Seven Deadly Sins, and the Opposite Virtues
Pride — Humility
Avarice — Liberality
Lust — Chastity
Anger — Meekness
Gluttony — Temperance
Envy — Brotherly Love
Sloth — Diligence
Since Against the Holy Ghost
Presumption of God’s mercy;
Despair of one’s salvation;
To deny the known truth;
Envy at another’s spiritual good;
To persist in sin;
Sins Crying to Heaven for vengeance
Oppression of the poor;
The sin of Sodom (Gen. 18:20)
Defrauding laborers of their wages.
Nine Ways of Being Accessory to Another’s Sin
1. By counsel;
2. By provocation;
3. By participating in the sin;
4. By command;
5. By praise or flattery;
6. By consent;
7. By silence;
8. By concealment;
9. By defense of the ill done.